Please help w/teenage son

Susan - posted on 12/24/2010 ( 34 moms have responded )

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I am 50 and have two kids, one who is a boy 14, and a girl who is 21 in college...i am married for 23 years...my son and i have been really close up until recently ....now he criticizes everything i say like its so stupid, hardly wants to talk, seems disrepectful...my husband hardly says anything to him about it and just says oh hes a teenage boy, its normal...sorry but i disagree and this is making me resent him and its miserable to be around my son, it seems like he hates me...i never ever went through this with my daughter...what do i do?

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Laura - posted on 12/24/2010

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Your husband is only partly right--kids DO start to test limits and boundaries as they head through puberty. Your son is separating himself from you as a parent/mother and often times the easiest way is to become "angry" at the parent. It is much easier to distance yourself from something you don't like! This is a common behavior, especially, it seems, among boys.

That being said, YOU are right, too, in that certain behaviors should NOT be tolerated by anyone, especially disrespectful or rude behavior! Your son can separate himself from you with respect, dignity and maturity--no butt-headed behavior is needed. This is an opportunity for you to communicate and acknowledge that your son is becoming a man and that there are appropriate ways to behave on the journey. Sit down with your son sometime when things are fairly quiet and ask to talk to him. Tell him that you recognize that he is becoming a man but that his choices are not reflecting "manly" behavior. If you have house rules, consider negotiating some changes that reflect his maturing. Remind him that rude, disrespectful behavior will NOT be tolerated--that he is old enough now to speak to you as an adult and that means respectfully. Teens NEED structure and boundaries, even as they test those very same limits.

Finally, I doubt seriously that your son hates you! As I mentioned before, he is trying to separate himself from parents and often kids do this by being "mean" to mom and dad. Reassure him that negative behavior isn't neccessary; that you understand that he needs to separate from family as he matures but that it can be done openly and respectfully. Communicate to him that there will be consequences (punishment) for disrespectful behavior and that he has full control of the choices he makes regarding his behavior in that department. He is not a little boy anymore; he is becoming a man, even if he's not there yet, and he deserves to be acknowledged as such. Let your son go during this stage of life--he will return a man and you may have a richer relationship for it! Hope this helps and best of luck!

Christine - posted on 12/26/2010

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Dad needs to man up and tell him how to treat you. Is he treating you like dad does?

Christine - posted on 12/26/2010

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I have two kids, 15 and 12, and it is certainly a challenge raising teenagers! The first piece of advice I would give you is that you and your husband need to sit down and establish rules of the house. What do you both consider tolerable/acceptable behavior and what is not? Then you need to establish punishment/discipline for behavior violations. Lastly, you need to present a united front...when your son violates the "standards" your husband needs to back you up when you "punish" him!!! Otherwise he will know that he can get away with that negative behavior!

In our house we do not tolerate disrespectful behavior or language! I provide respect to my children and husband and demand it in return! Are my kids ever disrespectful? Of course...they are teenagers...however, that doesn't mean I have to take it from them! When they talk back, say something mean, or are disrespectful we enforce the proper punishment (grounding, loss of privileges, etc...)

GOOD LUCK and STAND FIRM....no one should allow a child to be disrespectful to them!

JuLeah - posted on 12/24/2010

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Bring out pictures of him in the tub at age two, or swinging the bat at age ten and hold the memories close. He is 14 and all of his bodies resources are going now into the development of his body. He will again have a brain at age 25.
Try to find as many fun activites you two can do together, projects he will buy into. What are his passions? Get involved and get him involved.
14= self centered and the best cure is to volunteer with those who has less.
He does not hate you and does not think you stupid
He has no brain to speak of, so you can ignore much of what comes out of his mouth.
When he does something stupid and you ask "What where you thinking?"
He will answer "I don't know" or "Nothing"
Both are true
It is okay to set ground rules and demand a respectful tone of voice, no name calling, no eye rolling, no heavy sigh ....
Hardly wants to talk ..... very normal
You just have to love him through this and know he will emerge on the other side a man you like and respect.

Maureen - posted on 12/30/2010

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There is a book titled "The Male Brain" Read it...It simplifies what happens to teen males and why they hate their moms. It's unfortunatley normal.

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Susan - posted on 01/01/2011

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Crystal...i am so sorry, but at least his grades are good and hes into sports...he will come around...but its easy for someone else to say and it must be really tough for you. Pray a little...hell come around.

Crystal - posted on 12/30/2010

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thanks i have tried counseling he tells them what they need to here and thats it hes a great kid his sports and his grades are awsome I just keep telling him no matter what i love him and he is my one and only son Its just hard

Tiffany - posted on 12/30/2010

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My sister has 5 boys...my 15 year old nephew is like this with her. Unfortunately he had started experimenting with drugs. Thankfully my sister found out about 4 months ago and he finally went to rehab. He is doing much better now and sober for 2 1/2 months, but still has his attitude problem. It's just something they all go through (the attitude part). Just give him some space, and try to have open dialogue with him when you do talk. Also I think having your husband standing up for you and letting him know that it's not okay for your son to talk to you that way is a good step forward. Things will get better in time. Teenage boys are tough. Crystal - I'm so sorry for your loss! My nephews lost their father too. It will be 3 years on Jan 2. It was the hardest thing to watch them go through. I definitely think you should try to get your son and yourself into counseling...counseling has helped my nephew tremendously with their anger. Don't give up. There are probably reasons your son can't be around you right now that he is just not willing to share with you, but may be willing to open up to a therapist about. It could have to do with your boyfriend. My sister had a boyfriend after her husband died, and we just recently found out that was the reason for a lot of issues. They're no longer together thank God, because he was treating them horrible when she wasn't around. I'm not saying that is what your boyfriend is doing, but there may be some underlying issues he has with your boyfriend. Really see about seeing a therapist separately and together. Try not to lose hope. ♥

[deleted account]

Hello Susan, the first thing I would like to say is dont give up on him during this time of difficult behaviour, which believe me, is easy to consider doing. He is as lost about what is happening to him as you are about his behaviour towards you. He knows he needs to stand on his own two feet more and not be as dependant on his parents, but like most teenagers, it seems that he is a little unsure how to do this. You probably find that other people say "he is just the nicest person/young man" while you are in the process of ripping your hair out. I dont want this to sound harsh because that is not my intent, but comparing him to his sister is the worst thing that you can do, they are different people, just because they come from the same gene pool doesnt mean that they have been cloned, therefore there personalities, likes and dislikes, along with what stresses them and what makes them laugh are completely different to each other. He pushes you the hardest because he wants to know if the one that loves him the most doesn't push him away or give up on him, even at his worst behaviour, then just maybe he will make it through these teenage years, having said that it doesnt mean that you let him be rude or disrespectful, it means you pull him into line, but he has to have a few wins as well, so lots of negotiating have to replace a lot of your former converstions. It is not easy to do this when you are upset so dont try to approach it then, let your hurt and anger subside and go back to finding some common ground with him and bring things up in a gentle non confronting way, but this must be done a little at a time and with the support of your husband you both have to be on the same page with your son. In a little while (time depends on each person) you will have a loving and considerate son, who will once again make your heart melt and the pride beam from your very core. I hope the New Year brings you some relief and a new way in which to communicate with your son and husband. Kind Regards

Susan - posted on 12/30/2010

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wow i am so sorry crystal....this must be heartbraking for you and your other children. I think maybe some family counseling or one on one counseling since his father passed away and he could have some hidden anger that just is regressed. I dont think pushing it would help any, i would be afraid he would get more removed from you. Also, you could try writing him a letter in how much you love him and miss him and just you understand but you are the only mother he has and he might regret this one day. But definitely some counseling...thats all i can think of...good luck...

Crystal - posted on 12/30/2010

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My son is 16 his father died 5 years ago I never had any say over my son and when his father pasted I tried to set rules it didnt work when he turned 14-15 he no longer got along with my new boyfriend did all he could to start fights now he is living by his chioce not my with his meme He doesn't want anything to do with which is so hard I love him to pieces and so dont his two youngers sisters 14,and 9 he has nothing to do with them either any ideas of what I should do

Karen - posted on 12/30/2010

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I have two sons and I know what you mean. It is just a phase he is going through. Bear with it and let him know how he makes you feel. Turn the situation around to a way he would understand with a friend and ask him what he would do. Maybe it will open his eyes a bit. But males have a tendency to be that way more so than females. It's hard to go through, but hang in there. He respects you even if it doesn't feel like it.
Karen Murnan

Elle - posted on 12/30/2010

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Hmm drastic behavior change. Emotion is always behind behavior. So ask yourself 1) has anything changed : moved, new school, new friends, new hours, new teachers, new schedule??
2) 14 could your child be doing drugs ?
3) If no to both of those- ask him " you seem really angry with me...do you think you are grown up enough to have a conversation with me about your feelings or do I need to get your professional help?
3) If he says there is no problem and he doesn't need help then he is going to have show you he can demonstrate getting along with the family and if he does then he can have his electronics, phone, stereo, computer time, and games. Other wise he is going to need less time with electronics so he can have more practice using his social skills.

Helen - posted on 12/30/2010

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Hi Susan, I have four children ranging from 27 down to 11, 2 girls and 2 boys, my son has just turned 16, and this time last year was just like your son, hang in there it will get better, boys just have a different way of going through their teens than girls. Just try to keep the communication up when you can, but totally understand how you feel.

Trina - posted on 12/29/2010

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I have three boys and toare adults and to some point there was a pushing away from me. I never tolerated rudeness period so that was never my issue but hey did push away and push bundaries. Hey are getting older and are tryingto define themselves as young men. It's very important to give them so space but do not tolerate at rudeness or disrespect. But stay avialable do not push him away or resent him, find something in common and stay connected, and they will return.

Kayla - posted on 12/28/2010

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Io agree with your husband. Sorry but teens don't usually agree with their parents ideas. You may not do anything wrong but he thinks of your pArenting as the enemy. All you can do is show him respect and tell him you love him. It could be something outside of home bothering him & he takes the emotions home with him. Keep your head up. Times will get better.

Tami - posted on 12/28/2010

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I don't have any real advice since I don't have teenagers (yet). But my MIL, who raised 2 girls and 2 boys very successfully (my husband being the 10 year surprise and in a different generation than the others) SWEARS by the 1am rule....that is, teens won't open up to you until the wee hours of the morning. She would force herself to stay awake until they returned home, or were done watching their movie, or whatever, then they were more apt to talk at that time of night/morning. Something about the wee hours brings down their defenses and allow you to find out what's going on in their lives without it seeming threatening...or so she says. It might be worth a shot if he's more of a night owl? Or you can try to create a late movie night of a movie of his choice, and then see if he just opens up on his own (may take a few tries?). All I know is I wish that at 14, while I was pushing my mom away, that she had insisted on trying to talk with me anyway...because believe me, I was still listening even when i was rolling my eyes. best wishes...

Shelley - posted on 12/28/2010

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I have one to 14 like yours he is mean 90% of the time, But at least he will still talk to me I figure that it will eventually pass & he will hit yet another stage.

Quita - posted on 12/28/2010

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Puberty honey. He's starting to grow into his manhood and yes with boys it does happen. By 15 or 16 he is going to try and fight his father to see if he can beat him. It won't last always. Just remind home that u love him.

Barbara - posted on 12/28/2010

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Hun, my son was the same way at 14..He WILL grow out of it. If you don't like his attitude, ground him from his favorite activities for a week or so, and see if that doesn't help..or add extra "chores" to his list of daily duties.
My children are all grown and have the "nest"..

SueEllen - posted on 12/28/2010

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Tell him how it makes u feel when he does it and ask him if there is a different or better way to state his thought then role play with him. It is normal teenage behavior however if you don't adress it then it will continue into adulthood in his relationship show him the way woman want to be talked to and let him know your concerns it won't happen overnight so keep role playing and hang in their hopefully by the time he is 21 he will get it

Keisha - posted on 12/28/2010

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Sit him down and let hm know who the mother is and how he "better" respect you and your rules. He must understand he is the child , no matter what age he is. If that doesn't work, "make" your husband sit with him and discuss respecting authority and parents.

Cari - posted on 12/28/2010

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As how others answered, I too have a very sassy and at times, disrespectful 16 year old son, who due to other circumstances, is in counseling now, and his attitude was a bit part of us seeking help.

This is not a popular way, but I am my son's mother first, I am here to be respected, talked to, and manners are expected. I am NOT his friend. I am NOT here to be liked or to hold his hand. I am not saying that if something were to happen I wouldn't be there, of course I would and both my children know, my son has a 24 year old married sister and a 23 year old step sister, I will defend them and am fair and will listen. You have to be fair but firm and set boundaries and guidelines, as well as consequences for what they do. If he is being a butthead to you, then take his cell phone away or ground him for a few days or take the game boy or Wii away, something that will make him think before he opens his mouth to you.

It isn't easy and it isn't hard. The counselor we are using is also helping our son with better communication skills, as when the anger or disrespect hits him, his brain shuts off, so he is learning, he speaks to us in a calm firm manner, were going to extend that same courtesy to him and talk and try to understand and help.

Andrea - posted on 12/28/2010

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He is 14. He thinks he getting old enough to know it all. This is also the age where they do test the limits. My son is 14 and we have our moments where I can't stand his attitude. However, he knows I will not tolerate disrespect.
You have to decide where you can give a little and not be to hard on him. Remind him you love him and just be there for him. HE is going through a lot of changes. Boy are different than girls. Don't let it get you down. He will realize that he still needs you. Just not over night.

Cheryl - posted on 12/28/2010

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Susan~I'm going through the same thing. My son has always been an inspiration but has been totally disrespectful. Whats tough is when dad doesn't support you. I've had to let go and stop being bothered by this as it can be consuming. I have had to become distant and not let this kid know hes the center of my focus. I hope this helps you Susan, you're still a great mom but this will pass. Don't crumble and let them know howw bothered you are, just be you. Have a blessed day ,ok :)

Connie - posted on 12/28/2010

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I know just how u feel I have 4 teens. My 15 year old girl is very rude with her mouth and my 16 year old son don't even know I'm alive unless he wants money or a ride....I want you to know your not alone...I know its very painful...I have found spending some one on one time to help a bit. Like going to lunch or a move. But I must agree with u I feel the same way I don't think it normal nore ok...I wish I had better advice....teens are very hard to understand...good luck hun

Christy - posted on 12/27/2010

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Maybe it's a large red flag for you. I don't have a teenage son, but I do have a teenage nephew that is like a son to me. (14, also). Get him to talk. Take him out somewhere alone, you and him (or him and his father) and try to see what's going on. It could be anything...struggling at school, being bullied, drugs, alcohol, puberty, etc etc etc.

Right now he needs his Dad more than ever. Stress to your husband how important this is! Sadly us moms don't know what a boy goes through when they hit puberty. Typically, men have the better perspective. Good luck, hon.

Amber - posted on 12/27/2010

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I'm 20 years old and my brother is 18. He has been like this for the last 5 or so years with my mom. He eventually started just hiding out in his room when he was home or he would go out with his friends once he was already there. I am sure that any person you talk to that has a son that age has gone through something similar -- there is nothing abnormal about it! Now that my brother has turned 18 and he has his own life with friends, a girl friend, and begining to find his independence, he has things in common with the adults that he once loathed being around. He's 14 and going through puberty (which he doesn't want to talk about), he's learning about what girls think of him(which he also doesn't want to talk about), and he is just learning about himself in general. The worst thing you could do is try and force yourself into his life any more than letting him know you are there if he wants to talk. ;) Good luck!

Susan - posted on 12/26/2010

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Thanks for all your support and answers...i just have to stand my ground and not take it too personal....but i think its easier said than done...husband and I had a talk about it and i was very frank about how i felt, and so the three of us all had a talk about everything...At first he was upset that we were talking, my son that is, but then after it seems it must have gotten through to him because its been better the last couple of days...My husband doesn't treat me bad at all and i think he might be picking it up from friends...also i do keep up with his iphone texts, etc...and his facebook, etc...and nothing is bad...all good normal conversations...I think though my husband has to be more strict and not just be the good friend..i told him that and he agreed he will try harder but he has always been the easygoing one. It seems like i always have to address all the problems. Thanks again for all the helpful replies..

Cindy - posted on 12/26/2010

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Believe it or not something he does is normal. But Susan something else is wrong! ! I'm 50 with a daughter of 33 another daughter of 31and the baby my son is 28. I had no resepect at that age either!!! With no help from dad, unless dad had enough of me saying why aren't you helping but by that time dad was mad from hear me screen at him then he was to rough with the situation. .. I tried taking thing away from him! That didn't work... until one day I told my son no sports! !! He said you can't do that well guess what. ( I don't know if yours is in sports ) his attitude was alittle better... I use to sit on him because of the fits he through, and he was spoiled rotten. He is married with a 1 year old now and all he can say is I hope he doesn't act like me when I was younger LOL it will get better Susan you just stay tuff and everyday if you have to remind him load and clear who the boss is! ?!?

Jennifer - posted on 12/26/2010

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Please believe me when I say I know EXACTLY how you feel. When my son turned 14 it was as if he was adbucted by aliens and satan was put in his place!! LOL, We too were very close up until then. He dropped out of school just before he turned 16, refused to go to church with us, had horrible friends, the list is endless. I thought he would be the death of me. I have 2 older girls and never had anything like this with them. Everyone kept telling me it was normal and I just couldn't believe it. I decided that the only thing that I could do was to make sure that he knew there was nothing on this earth that he could do that would change my love for him. I even told him I loved him when he was brought home by the police!!! I am pleased and so grateful to God to be able to say that he will be 19 next year and Some time in this last year, the aliens have returned my loving son!! He is working and has friends who are a good influence in his life. As hard as it is (and sorry, but it gets worse before it gets better) , just love him, even when you don't want to. Stand firm on the rules you have set and be a homing beacon for him in his life. I thought I'd never hear my son say that he loves me again, and now I hear it every day. Hang in there. Trust in God. Your son was His before he was yours, so rely on him while you go through this. It will pass, even though it doesn't feel like it at the moment. Good luck and God bless.

Melissa - posted on 12/26/2010

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I am a 42 year old with a 23 yr old daughter and 20yr old son. I know what you are going through because I have some expirence in that area. A 14 year boy is a tough, My son at that age was a little more extreme. Your son is being disrespectfull and that should not be allowed in any way shape or form!!! Your husband should be standing up for you as the mother of his child. But the most important is that you demand it for yourself. If not, your son many feel some allowance to continue this and you will find yourself beat down and questioning what YOU did to deserve this where as, it is on him. 14 is a hard age, there is alot of pressure to be certain ways, or he has seen other boys his age get away with it. It will be hard, I will not lie and it may and can get worse over the years if you don't correct it now. Don't let hubby just avoid it as a teen thing, that is a cope out not to deal with it. Stand tall, demand respect from your son and support from your husband. If not, your future being a mom and wife may not be what you want. remember not to take it personally and stand up for yourself in all areas. Boys will test you to see how far they can go!!!! the farther you let them, the more tha take. Put the "fire" out now before it gets out of hand. Good luck to you!!!

Mary - posted on 12/25/2010

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Susan, I hope this is not whats going on with your son, but its what haappened with mine......My son was about 14 or 15 and was very short and disrespectable to me, he would be able to get what he wanted from his dad or permission for what he wanted to do from his dad would be a better way to put it. I would get the same message of being an overprotective Mom and hes just a teenager hes just having fun ...... to experimenting ...... ! Dont let it happen, get him back, there is so many drugs out there available to anyone and they are bad news and very addicting and can change someone in an instant ! My son is now 21 - we dont hardly have a relationship, nor does he spend time with any of us including his dad and his 3 brothers and sister-in laws and nieces and nephews. Funerals are about the only time most of us see him. He has has serious trouble with the law, including Felonies. When he was still under age we had him in a treatment center for help with his drugs, in a foster home , counseling , he became a father at 17 and has a beautiful little boy who will be 4. They are no longer together so his son has to live in a broken home. My husband and I have been married for almost 30 years now - it almost broke us and we are best friends.... they will tell you anything - check through his things -- check his cell phone numbers - check up on where hes been , make him accountable- peer pressure is cruel ! Its your sons life at stake ! protect what is yours ! Its hard, Hes pushing you away because you know him and hes hiding something from you and if your close you will find it - if your pushed away - its safe for him !

Susan - posted on 12/24/2010

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Thanks...ive told him i do not like the disrespect...but he turns it around and says im crazy and hes doing nothing and he even says im a teen boy im not gonna go with you to shop like ashley did....(my daughter who is 21)....so im like i understand that but be respectful...and he rolls his eyes...like he is annoyed with me...its very hard!!

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